A year to remember, says headteacher

Staff and pupils from Westleigh and Bedford Hall Methodist primary schools, in Leigh, celebrate
Staff and pupils from Westleigh and Bedford Hall Methodist primary schools, in Leigh, celebrate

The chairman of an academy trust has said it has been “a year to remember” as he looks ahead to 2020.

David Harrison, new chairman of the Acorn Trust, of which Westleigh and Bedford Hall Methodist primary schools, in Leigh, are a part of, said that both have had successes that put them “shoulder-to-shoulder” with some of the best in the country.

Mr Harrison said the progress children make at Westleigh is in the top three per cent in the country, while Bedford Hall was also listed in the highest category nationally for progress in writing and maths.

He said: “Not a month has gone by without us celebrating the achievements of our staff and pupils.

“At the start of the year we received a letter from government ministers saying that the progress that children make at Westleigh is in the top 3 per cent of schools in the country.

“Then, in the data released just a few weeks ago, Bedford Hall was also listed the highest category nationally for progress in writing and maths. Our schools have also been praised by Ofsted, received excellent SIAMS reports and have even made it to the finals of the Pearson National Teaching Awards, which are seen as the Oscars of the education sector.”

Mr Harrison added that the areas that he was most pleased with was the work being done to support the community and address mental health issues.

He said: “While the accolades are great signposts to show that we are moving in the right direction as a Trust, I don’t think outcomes are solely what we should be judged on.

“The pledge that Bedford Hall pupils have devised through the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools programme, the amazing work done in our Sure Start Centre, the actions taken to improve staff wellbeing and our links to charities are at the heart of the Acorn Trust.

“It is not just about helping our pupils to achieve their academic ambitions, it is about supporting them to be young people our community can be proud of.

“That is why I think 2019 really has been a year to remember.

“I genuinely can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring.”